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E-rate Remains High Priority at FCC

On May 11, 2015, FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler published a blog article touting the Commission’s E-rate modernization efforts. States Wheeler: “…we improved the program’s cost-effectiveness, set specific, ambitious goals for the broadband capacity delivered to schools and libraries – a short term target of 100 Mbps per 1000 students, and a longer term target of 1 Gbps per 1,000 students – and re-purposed funding for Wi-Fi and robust broadband connections capable of supporting cutting-edge, one-to-one digital learning…” The FCC recently approved USAC’s recommendationto fund all Category 1 and Category 2 E-rate applications, which marks only the third time in the program’s history that every application that is compliant with E-rate rules will receive a funding commitment. This is also the first time since FY2012 that schools will be able to receive funds necessary to support WiFi in the classrooms, directly attributed to the FCC’s reform efforts.

The Chairman also notes that FCC is already considering other changes to the E-rate program next year.

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